‘Reckless’: Pilots’ global body expresses concerns on Ghulam Sarwar’s statement

The International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Association (IFALPA) calls Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar’s statement “reckless” and offers to assist Pakistan in the ongoing investigation of flight PK 8303.

The organisation also offered to be part of any task force that is created to deal with the licensing scandal as well. The minister had sent ripples in the international aviation industry when he stated that around 30% of the pilots in Pakistan have obtained licenses to fly through dubious means.

In the letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan, dated July 7, a copy of which is available with Geo.tv, the Canada-based organization proposes providing its expertise to help probe the Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) flight that crashed in May killing 97 people.

“We are not here to blame but to provide our expertise to find the truth,” wrote Captain Jack Netskar, president of IFALPA, to “enhance aviation safety and restore confidence in the Pakistani aviation system.”

“The international pilot community is deeply concerned about the unfounded statements made by the Pakistani Minister for Aviation declaring that many Pakistani commercial pilots hold licenses that, in his words, are ‘fake’,” the letter adds, “We find these statements on the brink of being reckless not just for the individuals named, but for Pakistan and its ability to continue operating international air services.”

The president of IFALPA admits that there are problems within the PIA, but adds that these problems can be dealt with the help of independent international bodies such as IFALPA, IATA and ICAO.

“It is our desire to see PIA return to its historical place as an aviation leader in the region. We want this for the people of Pakistan, the employees of PIA and our PALPA colleagues.”

The International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Association (IFALPA) represents more than 140,000 professional pilots around the world in nearly 100 countries. The Pakistani Airline Pilots Association (PALPA) is also a member of IFALPA.

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